Dry Riesling Breakthrough: Immich-Batterieberg and Why We Love Dynamite

Posted by CrushWine

Riesling Loves Dynamite: The 2nd Vintage
2010 Immich-Batterieberg Dry Rieslings
A Breakthrough Collection in the Mosel

This is nothing less than an epic collection. So far, these are the most thrilling dry Rieslings I have tasted from 2010, by a long shot.

Each of the three wines (that's the entire collection) is absolutely seamless, amazingly satiny and crystalline with a presentation of minerality that is among the finest I have ever tasted. The wines are razor-sharp, indeed they are severe, yet they also feel rounded and elegant.

They display a flawless balance and truly, have the agility and lift and delineation of Saar Riesling.

I'll be perfectly honest: I don't think I've been as impressed by, or as excited for, a single collection of wine since I tasted Lauer's 2007 collection.

I have to say, for anyone serious about white wines, this is required drinking. The "simple" C.A.I. is one of the most ludicrous values out there in the world of fine wine. (Full notes on each wine below.)

The 2010 vintage represents just the second release by this historic Mosel estate under the guidance of winemaker Gernot Kollman and, with really no explanation of how or why, the 2010ers I think are perhaps even better than his 2009ers.

Discussing the collection with David Schildknecht, he said: "Gernot's accomplishment in 2010 is even more remarkable than that in his first year."

But a bit of history for you - after all, you have to be a pretty serious German wine dork to have heard of Immich-Batterieberg.

The Immich family has been associated with this land back to the early 15th century, though if there is a hero to this story it is Carl August Immich who between 1841 and 1845 blasted the **** out of a sheer wall of solid slate, thus creating the famous monopole of the estate, the Batterieberg which roughly translates to "demolition hill." (Thus the cannon on the label, though he really used dynamite.)

Alas, the Immich family sold the estate in 1989 and it withered away... until Gernot Kollman and some friends purchased the estate. The 2010 collection represents only the second vintage under Kollman.

While this section of the Mosel has fallen out of the spotlight in the last few decades, it represents some of the greatest terroir in the Mosel.

It turns out those Prussians knew what they were talking about in 1897 when they put together their tax map, essentially rating the sites of the Mosel. The entire stretch of vineyards that today make up the Immich-Batterieberg estate were marked as the absolute best (and taxed accordingly).

The C.A.I. (named in honor of Carl August Immich) is labeled as a Kabinett, though this comes across as a dry wine with much more thrust and much more bite than nearly any Kabinett you've had in many years. It is as pure as a glacier and freakin' delicious.

Gernot made only two "Grand Cru," single-vineyard wines in 2010. Both are epic treatises on what Mosel dries can be: floral, just insanely mineral, yet polished and beautiful and harmonious and... well, very near perfect.

I believe these two wines are at the level of any dry Riesling being made in Germany.

These wines are in stock and really, silly limited. You will not see these in many places in the U.S. - because we'll be buying them all! Full notes on the wines below.

To order, email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits

2010 Immich-Batterieberg

2010 C.A.I. "Kabinett"

To call this simple or frankly, a Kabinett, seems a bit ludicrous, but so be it - the price is even crazier. This is a dry-tasting Riesling. It is riveting - it has to be among the top 100 most refreshing wines ever made. Though, beyond refreshment, it is pure, graceful, with a delicate little songbird medley of citrus fruit and herbs, a polished, lime-zest acidity that zings it across the palate, a miniature ice storm with lighting across the palate. While it is very intense, it does not have a lot of weight, it is much more angelic. Buy a lot of this.

2010 Ellergrube

This is one of the great single-vineyard bottlings from Immich. If ever there was a great duo of terroirs, this is it, Ellergrube and Batterieberg. The Ellergrube is incredibly floral, with sweet notes of lilac and rose and narcissus. The fruit veers toward the riper, sweeter side, with beautiful stone fruits, peach and juicy nectarine - every single note discernible and woven with mineral. The Ellergrube is perhaps the most complex bottle that Immich offers and indeed the site has the largest percentage of old, ungrafted vines. It is dazzling - absolutely superb.

2010 Batterieberg

This is one of the great single-vineyard bottlings from Immich. If ever there was a great duo of terroirs, this is it, Ellergrube and Batterieberg. The Batterieberg is silent and awesome - it is a profound rendition of mineral the likes of which I have only come across in certain Rieslings (Clos-Ste-Hune, Keller's Absterde, Scharzhofberger, Rebholz's Ganz Horn, Lauer's Schonfels, Schäfer-Fröhlich's Felseneck... you get the point). Currently, it is embryonic, perfectly still, unwavering, unflinching - it is simply mineral with a light coating of spring water and a haunting stillness. The bottle is awesome, simply profound Riesling at a rare, rare level.